How has therapy changed my personality?

Last year I took a personality test called the IPIP-NEO test. It’s like the “Big-5” but with lots of subcategories. For example, you might have average “openness to experience” by having low imagination, emotionality, and artistic interests, but high adventurousness, intellect, and liberalism. The breakdown seems more interesting than the average. Importantly, this test gives meaningful numbers. A 58 means that they estimate that 58% of the population is less extroverted than I am.

Changes to my Big-5 score

Overall, my extroversion increased from low to moderate, my agreeableness and Openness increased from high to extremely high, my neuroticism began average and fell below average, and conscientiousness remained average.

Jun-20Dec-21Change
Extroversion295829
Neuroticism5026-24
Openness739724
Agreeableness829513
Conscientiousness405313

Largest Changes

Jun-20Dec-21Change
Vulnerability9242-50
Artistic Interests196849
Gregariousness489345
Altruism528634
Cautiousness245733
Self-Discipline408-32
Extroversion295829
Morality659126
Depression5833-25
Emotionality537825
Friendliness588224
Neuroticism5026-24
Openness739724

Overall, I’m pretty happy with most of these changes. Especially being more friendly and altruistic and so on. As well as and less vulnerable, neurotic, depressed and so on. My guess is that these changes are from some combination of therapy, psychedelics, meditation, and perhaps changes in circumstance (for example, finishing my Masters).

I don’t really think my artistic interest has changed so much as I’ve re-framed those questions, I think my self-discipline going down is good: I don’t need to force myself to do as much stuff when I’m happier, less self-concerned, and have more capacity and desire to help others.

I also have some pretty extreme character traits, but this post is only about change.

All the data is here.


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